The team at GQ put together a solid list of things to know as you set up your “grown up have a real job” apartment. You can check out the slides at GQ.com. The list of 10 things to know:
Mismatching is perfectly fine. In fact, it’s highly encouraged.
Designer Suzanne Kazler once said, “A room should feel collected… not decorated.” Truer words have never been spoken when it comes to furnishing a man’s home. If you want to avoid making your home looking like an Ikea catalog, combine items from different times and places—like an antique chesterfield sofa alongside a modern accent chair.
Some things are just for show.
Guys generally buy things that we actually intend to use —an otherwise good habit, except when it comes to furnishing your home. Sure, you need somewhere to sit, and a place to set your coffee mug, but your home will look incomplete without a few completely functionless, decorative objects. Incorporate small, sculptural items like wooden tribal figurines, perhaps a globe, and even an animal skull. Whatever floats your boat, really.
Add something old.
Even if the whole “vintage Americana” thing isn’t really your style, adding a couple a few weathered and worn elements will make your home feel more masculine and inviting. A good place to scour may actually be your mom’s basement—sentimental value is a nice, added bonus.
Put extra thought into your rug.
The area rug is one of the first things you notice when you walk into a room, and they usually come with a hefty price tag—so don’t treat it like a doormat. We suggest getting your money’s worth by going for something on the bolder side, like an overdyed oriental or a speckled cowhide.
Dress up your sofa.
The sofa is one of the rare instances when you should prioritize function over form. If your sofa is comfortable, but lacking in style, try draping a wool camp blanket over it, or add in a few indigo or batik throw pillows. A futon is a different situation though—that belongs on the curb.
Splurge on a nice chair.
If you’re going to spend on anything, it should be on your throne. Even if your sofa is a bit generic, your accent chair is an opportunity to make a strong statement. Whether you prefer a leather cigar chair, or a mid-century classic from Eames or Wegner, invest in quality and lasting design. The only rule? No recliners.
Set your coffee table.
This may not seem that obvious, but your coffee table isn’t intended for you to kick up your feet—it should actually be arranged. Setting your table is pretty simple though: Add a few books and magazines that show off your cultural knowledge, include a gentleman’s tray to hold the remote controls and a set of coasters, then place one or two of those functionless decorative objects we spoke about earlier (anything more is just clutter).
Have a bar worth bragging about.
You may want to hide the good stuff, but a solid bar display is an uncompromisable must-have. A bar cart or hutch is a stylish way to store your goods, but a simple serving tray on the countertop will perfectly suffice. Invest in a nice set of bar tools, at least one pair of nice whiskey glasses, and a few quality bottles of booze (at least for show). You can always have a hide the good stuff in the cupboard.
Buy some legitimate art.
Your Animal House poster and mixology chart are not art. Fine art is a true sign of adulthood, but it doesn’t necessarily require a trip to Christie’s. Editioned prints or vintage lithographs are good starter pieces, or comb through eBay for some affordable one-of-a-kind finds.
Get some green.
Even if you don’t know much about plants, you can’t really go wrong with a fiddle leaf fig tree or a few staghorn ferns. A little greenery helps break up lines and will brighten up the space.